Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas in the Country

Every year on Boxing Day we escape to country Victoria for a week of relaxing, food eating and wine drinking. It's nice just to get away from everything and everyone for a week.

This year we've been lucky enough to have a cute and cuddly visitor in the tree outside our cottage. The koala arrived over night, and the following evening moved on. He spent the entire day eating and sleeping high up in the gum tree.

We've also been blessed with some beautiful sunsets, which we can watch from the veranda at the front of our cottage. The weather has been comfortable so far, but it's going to get hot over the next few days.

We had a beautiful lunch at a winery yesterday, and I had the most interesting dessert. It was listed on the menu as a lemon cheesecake, but as you can see, there is no cheesecake to be seen! The plate was elegantly arranged with lemon curd, ice-cream, raspberries and violet meringues.

The only downside so far is the lovely insect (mozzie or ant) who has left a whopping 28 bites on my right foot. Apparently I'm rather tasty.

Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas, and is looking forward to 2011 as much as I am!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Little Zip-Up Purse

I got the urge to sew today, but with only one more day until Christmas, it's not really the time to be starting any new big projects. For a while, I've been thinking about trying out a little zip-up purse, and did a bit of tutorial hunting online. I found a few, and this is what I ended up with.

It's a reasonable size, about 16cm wide and 12cm deep, and made from Fandango scraps. Handy for putting things in your handbag, such as a camera or iPod without it getting damaged.

The only problem I found it that my lining has ended up a bit bulky (too big), despite cutting everything the same size. Any suggestions from anyone whose made something like this? I might need to trim it down a little and re-sew it to make it a better fit.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Christmas just isn't the same without a little festive baking; for me it's usually shortbread and mince pies, but I've changed things up this year and made gingerbread.

Talk about hard to find a recipe; I scoured my cookbook collection, and couldn't find a single recipe. But I did find one on my trusty recipe website Taste.

It's a very easy recipe, and makes a lot of biscuits. I halved the recipe and still came up with about 50 biccies.

I also cooked mine a little longer, 8-10 min, which resulted in a crunchier biscuit, but if you want a softer middle just cook for the recommended 5min.

All decorated and ready to be shared and eaten. Yum!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Market Wrap-Up

Could I have picked worse weather for my first foray into markets? Possibly, but it wasn't the best. Overcast all day, then 20 mins before closing, a massive thunderstorm. The weather seemed to keep the crowds away and it was pretty quiet, though I managed to make enough sales to make the cost of the stall worth it, and the advertising for my business was priceless.

I'm happy with how my stall looked, and I certainly had plenty of kids interested in my toys, but not so many parents willing to open their wallets. Finances are still quite tight following the GFC.

I've got chrissy stockings to offload, so if you were interested, now is your chance. $35 each including postage within Australia, $40 overseas (though they prob won't arrive in time for christmas). Email me at All the stockings are quilted on the front, have batting front and back, and are fully lined.

Bliss--Whimsy--Hunky Dory

12 Days of Christmas

12 Days of Christmas

Peace on Earth

So the market wasn't quite as scary as I thought it might be, and I'll probably have another go. Just need to cross my fingers for better weather!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

One Last Stocking

I've had a bit of a break from sewing after going into full production mode for the maker's market, and just been taking it easy. But I'm heading into my old work tomorrow and wanted to drop off a gift for my friend's little boy.

So, I whipped up another stocking; this one using scraps of 12 Days of Christmas left over from the other stockings. Just 3" squares, then quilted on the diagonal.

Backed with another 12 Days fabric, and lined with Bliss tonal green. I love it!

I've also quilted and bound a second cot quilt for the market...I'm liking this one a lot.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

New Website!

I'm very excited to announce that Bella's Patchwork has a new website! After months of nothing but trouble with my previous website courtesy of the hosting company, I've moved hosts and put together my own site.

I'm really pleased with how it looks, and hopefully it will be a little more user friendly. The shopping cart is 100% secure and operates using Paypal as before.

If you notice anything that doesn't seem right, let me know and I'll fix her up.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Simple Summer Pasta

I'm a pasta-lover, and could quite happily eat is several nights a week. The warm weather brings a dilemma however, and it gets too hot to be making and eating yummy warm sauces with my pasta.

For days like today I prefer a cool pasta, and this recipe is a sinch!

You just need:

  • tomatoes; either diced large tomatoes or halved cherry toms.
  • basil; grab a handful and tear the leaves.
  • a clove of garlic, sliced thinly or crushed. This adds a bit of bite to it.
  • olive oil. I usually add 6 glugs, but it would depend on how many serves you want.
  • a dash of red wine vinegar; I usually use about 1 teaspoon.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Let it sit for about half an hour, cook your pasta, drain, then toss it into the sauce. Mix it round then serve it up! The pasta will be slightly warm, but far more pleasant to eat when its hot.

It's hot enough here that Bella has taken to lying on the kitchen floor...looks a bit akward!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

First Day of Summer...

...And its pouring with rain! Admittedly, it's not cold; I'm wearing a sleeveless top. But it's not really the start to summer we've all been hoping for.

Not much sewing action happening here. I've finished up most things for the market, bar one cot quilt. I'm hoping to start something with Fandango shortly, but I'm not sure what pattern to go for, so suggestions welcome!

I did a final harvest of my silverbeet yesterday; the plants had bolted and were now taller than me! All the leaves have been washed, blanched, and packed into baggies in the freezer for use in quiches etc.

Just a note on Bella's Patchwork too; the shopping cart is currently malfunctioning, so if anyone is looking to place an order, please email me at I'm getting very frustrated with my provider and am looking into alternatives...not what I needed in the lead up to christmas!